Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is insurance that is intended to cover medical expenses, trip cancellation, lost luggage, flight accident and other losses incurred while travelling, either internationally or domestically.

Travel insurance can usually be arranged at the time of the booking of a trip to cover exactly the duration of that trip, or a "multi-trip" policy can cover an unlimited number of trips within a set time frame. Some policies offer lower and higher medical-expense options; the higher ones are chiefly for countries that have high medical costs, such as the United States.

The most common risks that are covered by travel insurance plans are:
  • Medical treatment, including transportation to the medical facility.
  • Cancellation,curtailment and trip interruption

  • This section covers any unused travel and or accommodation costs, pre-paid charges (including any additional travel expenses incurred, provided they are deemed reasonable and necessary) if a trip is canceled or cut short under a variety of circumstances, which may include any of the following, depending on the policy:

  • death, bodily injury, illness, disease, or pregnancy complications
  • compulsory quarantine
  • jury service
  • being called as a witness
  • termination of employment (provided you did not know about it before you booked the holiday)
  • being called up if you are a member of the armed forces or other public defense or safety organization
  • prohibition of travel by the government to the intended destination
  • officially recommended evacuation from the intended destination
  • official advisory against going to or remaining at the intended destination
  • Death or serious illness of a family member (subject to age restrictions).
  • Repatriation of remains

  • Return of a minor
  • Trip cancellation
  • Trip interruption
  • Visitor Health Insurance
  • Accidental Death, Injury or Disablement benefit
  • Overseas funeral expenses
  • Lost, stolen or damaged baggage, personal effects or travel documents
  • Delayed baggage (and emergency replacement of essential items)
  • Flight connection was missed due to airline rescheduling or delay.
  • Travel delays due to weather
  • Hijacking

Certain countries will require that you have purchased sufficient coverage should something happen while you are traveling to that country. Those governments do not want to be burdened with the costs of your medical care and will require you to have a suitable plan meeting certain minimum requirements.

  • Students traveling to the USA are required to have a qualified plan during their period of study.
  • Depending on the length of stay, travelers to countries in the Schengen area are required to prove they have sufficient insurance at the time of their visa application.
  • Health insurance is mandatory for visitors to enter the UAE (Dubai, Abu Dhabi, etc) and require a visit or tourist visa.
  • Companies running group tours often require insurance, as do many cruise companies.
  • Generally, most countries where you are applying for a visa are likely to also require a minimum level of travel insurance.

Common Exclusions

The common exclusions in travel insurance policies include pre-existing medical conditions, unlicensed operation of a vehicle, travelling for the purpose of receiving medical treatment, elective surgery or treatment, or injury or illness caused by alcohol, drug use, or reckless behavior, including engaging in some sporting activities. Events arising from war and terrorism are usually excluded, but most policies allow trip cancellation arising from war or an act of terrorism that meets the policy's criteria.